Food Connections, Bristol’s ambitious, citywide food festival (May 1 to May 9), has just revealed a jaw-dropping programme of over 100 events for 2015. All over Bristol, dozens of individuals, groups, organisations and businesses – united by their passion for good food – will come together to stage a food event unlike any other.
Supported by First Great Western, Food Connections is the flagship food event for Bristol 2015, European Green Capital. Now in its second year, having attracted around 185,000 participants in 2014, Food Connections aims to change how we think about food and how we eat by, ‘Bringing people and good food together’.
The programme of events is divided into six themes: land and growing, feasting and festivities, get cooking, brain food, families and wellbeing. Food Connections will kick off with the BBC Food and Farming Awards on April 30th, with celebrity chefs like Cyrus Todiwala, Thomasina Miers, Giorgio Locatelli, Richard Corrigan and Angela Hartnett coming to town to celebrate the best of British food and the people who grow, make and supply it.
The May Bank Holiday Weekend will play host to a range of city centre events, including a producers market on College Green, a special edition of the Harbourside Market, a street food market in Millennium Square, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion in Queens Square, a pop-up dining emporium, the Thatchers Cider trail, and the Grow Festival, supported by Riverford on College Green, offering inspiration and advice to get people growing their own food at home.
Also on College Green is the new food frontiers event, hosted in collaboration with First Great Western and the Seed Fund, offering new food producers from across the South West the opportunity to win £100,000 package of packaging design and business consultancy and a contract with First Great Western. Judges include Riverford founder, Guy Watson and Observer journalist, Lucy Siegle.
The BBC will host a programme of live talks and recordings in the IMAX Theatre at the Aquarium. They include BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Farming Today, Costing the Earth and The Food Programme; an event looking at the ‘past, present and future’ of food on the BBC and special food-themed radio programmes featuring, among others, Adrian Chiles, Rick Stein, Simon Hopkinson and Diana Henry.
Naturally, eating will also be central to the Food Connections celebrations with a whole host of dining experiences, supper clubs and pop-up restaurants to choose from including: an event showcasing flavours from the international Slow Food movement’s “Ark of Taste” which highlights the world’s foods at risk of extinction, with Giorgio Locatelli, Thomasina Miers, Tom Hunt and Paula Macintyre; a Three Rivers banquet, designed by the award-winning House of Gastrophonic and Flinty Red, using the finest ingredients from the land around the Frome, Severn and Avon rivers and a communal ‘Eat-In’ on College Green where Bristol’s food movers, growers, chefs and members of the public will discuss the state of our food system over a huge pot-luck lunch.
At Food Connections 2015, you’ll also find plenty of talks, workshops and demonstrations to inspire people to ‘Get Cooking’, as well as a programme of family events that will include Michael Rosen, former Children’s Laureate, taking young audience members on an adventure into language and food for a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth.
Food Connections also places a huge emphasis on community events, with people from all walks of life getting involved and staging their own events across the city. A Spice Festival on St. Marks Road in Easton will celebrate all things ‘spice’ from history to health benefits; worshippers at the Sikh Temple and the Polish Church will welcome visitors to break bread with them; Southmead will stage its own version of ‘Ready, Steady, Cook!’ and Lakota in St.Pauls will host ‘It’s a Bristol Ting’ with music, street food and a jerk chicken competition.
For information on all Food Connections events, including ticket links, visit: www.bristolfoodconnections.com.